With Windows Vista on the eventual Horizon, I’ve been working with the Betas and having a look at the security features. One of the ones I’m anticipating with great enthusiasm is BitLocker. BitLocker is a drive encryption system that encrypts the entire contents of a drive. Being the paranoid sort I am, I figured it would be a great thing to set up and use.

So there I was with my newly installed Beta 2 of Windows Vista. I went to turn on BitLocker from its buried location in the Security Settings in Control Panel. I opened it up, clicked Continue on the obligatory UAP dialog and was presented with a dialogue box saying I must reconfigure my hard drive to use BitLocker.

I’ve since come to find out that BitLocker needs the system and boot partitions on separate drives. You also need to have the boot partition sized up to 1.5GB. The real kicker is that the boot partition has to be created and made active BEFORE you install Vista so that the installation puts the system information on one drive and the boot information on the other.

For a great walkthough on this process see Microsoft’s solution.

I finally managed to get it all working. There isn’t much of a performance difference until you start installing software. BitLocker has to encrypt each application as it installs. Other than that it’s pretty nice. It’s secure too!! Just make sure you don’t loose your encryption keys (stored in a TPM or a USB key).

I’ll write an update as I experience the goodness that is BitLocker!